By Nathan Brown
Two bills focused on reforming wildlife management were recently heard before a New Mexico House Committee. HB 183 would have abolished the state’s Game and Fish Department, while HB 184 would change the way that seats are allocated on the State Wildlife Commission. HB 183 was defeated, but HB 184 made it out of the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee on a 6-3 vote.
“HB 184 would keep a seven-member commission but with one from each congressional district, plus a rancher or farmer, a conservationist, a hunter or angler and a scientist. [Commissioners] could not be removed ‘except for incompetence, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office,’ with the state Supreme Court given oversight over removals.”
“This bill would insulate the commission from political whims and add stability to the commission,” said Chris Smith.